Ghost Ship creative director acquitted over deadly 2016 fire

Max Harris, “creative director” of former Oakland DIY space Ghost Ship, has been acquitted on all charges of manslaughter in relation to the deadly 2016 fire that killed 36. A judge declared a mistrial in the case of his associate Derick Almena.

September 05, 2019
Ghost Ship creative director acquitted over deadly 2016 fire Elijah Nouvelage / Getty Images

Max Harris, one of two men facing 36 counts of manslaughter in the wake of the Ghost Ship fire, has been acquitted on all charges by a jury in Oakland, California, according to a report from ABC7. The judge declared a mistrial in the case of Derick Almena, the leaseholder and operator of the building, with the jury deadlocked. Both men faced 36 counts of manslaughter. A new date for future court proceedings in regards to Almena will be determined on October 4th.

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Harris — the Ghost Ship's "creative director" — and Almena were arrested in connection with the fire in June 2017. They both plead no contest to manslaughter in July last year, a plea which was rejected on the grounds that the pair had not accepted "full responsibility and remorse" for the deadly fire.

More to follow.

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Ghost Ship creative director acquitted over deadly 2016 fire